Din­gle impresses vis­it­ing UCC pres­i­dent

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

THE pres­i­dent of UCC, on a tour of the col­lege’s catch­ment area, ar­rived in Din­gle on Mon­day and was hugely im­pressed with what he saw.

Prof Pa­trick O’Shea, vis­ited Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuib­hne and later met with an in­vited group at the Din­gle Hub in Cooleen dur­ing his brief visit. Trav­el­ling with a team of aca­demics from UCC the meet­ings are part of the univer­sity’s strate­gic plan to sup­port com­mu­ni­ties in their en­gage­ment with lo­cal and global is­sues.

The Cork aca­demic was clear that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the com­mu­nity and the univer­sity was very im­por­tant to him. “The univer­sity is there to sup­port the com­mu­nity in any way they can,” he said.

Prof O’Shea con­firmed UCC’s com­mit­ment to Dún Ciob­háin in Bal­ly­fer­riter, which has been in use by the univer­sity’s staff and stu­dents since 1974. He told The Ker­ry­man that the univer­sity is to in­vest €160,000 in the premises.

No stranger to West Kerry, the for­mer Vice pres­i­dent and Chief Re­search Of­fi­cer at the Univer­sity of Mary­land has fond mem­o­ries of his vis­its to Feothanach as a child and demon­strated a fine blas when speak­ing about the area.

Asked about the role of the Ir­ish lan­guage in any fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with West Kerry, he replied that the lan­guage is “cru­cial”.

On Ire­land’s re­la­tion­ship with the rest of the world, Prof O’Shea of­fered the view that: “We must get away from the Béal Bocht, Ire­land is a mod­ern coun­try with an an­cient her­itage, and no where is it more ev­i­dent than in Din­gle”.

Re­fer­ring to the ESB’s de­ci­sion to in­vest in test­ing new tech­nolo­gies in Din­gle he re­flected that what was once a re­mote area when he vis­ited it in his child­hood is now con­nected in­ter­na­tion­ally with the in­stal­la­tion of the 1Gb .line in the hub.

At the meet­ing in the Din­gle Hub, is­sues dis­cussed in­cluded the im­pact of cli­mate change, the need for a vi­sion for the fu­ture of the area, qual­ity of life and build­ing re­silience within the com­mu­nity, the pos­si­bil­i­ties for gen­er­at­ing em­ploy­ment by pair­ing cre­ative minds with tech­ni­cal ones, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties for learn­ing from pro­grammes in other coastal and ru­ral towns.

The is­sue of Gov­ern­ment sup­port for projects was also raised, to which Cllr Sea­mus Cosaí Mac Gear­ailt replied: “Any pro­ject that will cre­ate jobs on the ground will get po­lit­i­cal back­ing, from any party”.

Photo by Dom­nick Walsh

UCC Pres­i­dent Prof Pa­trick G. O’Shea with Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuib­hne stu­dents Tara Ní Ghairbhí and Rachel Ní Néill, and Coláiste Íde stu­dents Nancy De Mhordha Coláiste and Lily Ní Thiom­pail

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